A cookie, also known as an HTTP cookie, web cookie, or browser cookie, is usually a small piece of data sent from a website and stored in a user's web browser while a user is browsing a website. When the user browses the same website in the future, the data stored in the cookie can be retrieved by the website.
Cookies were designed to be a reliable mechanism for websites to remember the state of the website or activity the user had taken in the past. Although cookies cannot carry viruses, and cannot install malware on the host computer, tracking cookies and especially third-party tracking cookies are commonly used as way to compile long-term records of individuals' browsing histories ó a major privacy concern that has prompted European and US law makers to take action.
Other kinds of cookies perform essential functions in the modern Web. Perhaps most importantly, authentication cookies are the most common method used by web servers to know whether the user is logged in or not, and which account they are logged in under. Without such a mechanism, the site would not know whether to send a page full of sensitive information, or a message saying "sorry, you need to log in".
Parrs Wood's usage of cookies falls into two catagories;
* analytics - tracking how many people visit the site, how they came to visit the site (search engine, referal from annother site, direct traffic, etc), and what they look at; this allows to know where to best focus our efforts in maintaing and improving the site.
* session - these cookies are used on areas you log in to, they allow the site to distinguish between visitors and keep you seperate from other visitors.